You are currently viewing Stellar Speeches #3: People & Passion

Stellar Speeches #3: People & Passion

People find passion challenging to encapsulate and describe. It can be anything and everything at the same time. Many have found time during the lockdown to discover their passions and reflect on their lives. Be it baking artisan bread, learning a new instrument, or finally starting that podcast you’ve always wanted to make – finding your passion is a journey everyone seems to be taking.

This week’s Stellar Speeches Series will discuss the idea of passion, the thing that ignites you – or maybe still eludes you? Much like happiness, passionate pursuits drive a lot of people. But how valuable is passion? These speakers attempt to find out!

1) Steve Jobs – Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish

Steve Job’s 2015 commencement speech at Stanford University is passion’s national anthem. A college drop-out who traveled to India to study Buddhism, Steve Jobs did a lot of things before truly finding his place in the world. His speech is brutally honest, absolutely real, and therefore, extremely relatable.

“I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.”

2) Oprah Winfrey – Difference between a Career & Calling

It’s hard to imagine that Oprah Winfrey didn’t grow up already knowing what she wanted to do. It took rejection for her to realize her true calling. But once she found it, there was really no stopping her. This is her response to a question posed by the audience.

“Your real job in life is to figure out what you’re called to do and you use a job until you can figure out what your calling is — because a job is necessary to survive.”

3) Terri Trespicio – Stop searching for your passion 

Terri Trespicio, an award-winning speaker and writer, defies the norm and challenges the idea of passion and society’s  fixation on it. Here, she speaks about living in the now and being grateful for your life.

“Passion is not a job, a sport or a hobby. It is the full force of your attention and energy that you give to whatever is right in front of you. And if you’re so busy looking for this passion, you could miss opportunities that change your life.”

4) Sir Ken Robinson – Finding your passion

The author of, “The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything”, Sir Ken Robinson is an educationalist and advocate of creativity. At the Business Nordic Forum, he talks about how looking for your passion is never a straight and narrow path. 

“There is no path. Every path is unique and it emerges as you take it. You create your path as you walk along it. You don’t follow a path. You bring it into being by living it.”

5) Dananjaya Hettiarachchi – I see something

Sri Lankan human resources consultant, Dananjaya Hettiarachchi, wowed the world with his simple yet powerful speech during the Toastmaster’s Public Speaking Competition in 2014. He emerged as the champion and goes on to inspire people all over the world with his famous words, “I see something in you.”

“You and I are not very different from this flower. Just like this flower is unique, you are unique. All of us have something special that makes us as beautiful. Do you know what makes you special?”


Do you have a favourite speech or interesting theme to suggest? Please leave a comment or drop a message and we will be sure to include the video in the next Stellar Speeches Series.

Local Context
Closer to home, Cheryl Yeoh, an entrepreneur and angel investor, speaks about how passion is driven by success, and not interest. Her speech is both hopeful yet realistic. Since giving this speech, she went on to become the CEO of the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre and later, the founder of several tech startups.
“If you work hard at something, you become good at it. If you become good at something, you enjoy it. If you enjoy something, chances are, you’re going to be passionate about it. And if you’re passionate about something, good things will happen.”
Motivation Moment
Jay Shetty is an internet personality and motivational speaker. Known for his podcast and inspirational videos, Jay Shetty strives to promote health and wellness to his huge online following.
“One moment can change everything.There are decades when nothing happens and there are days where decades happen. A year from now, you would have wished you started today.”